Scroll Top

An Introduction to ANZAC Day from a Kiwi Living in Australia



This post originally appeared on ANZAC Day way back in 2012! Given the importance of ANZAC day in the Australasian calendar and the fact that many of my readers are US-based, I thought that it might be time for a wee revamp.

Since I first posted, my friend Emily from SoleFrire Wellness has created an AIP-version of ANZAC Biscuits, too – I’ve shared the link below.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

– from ‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon (1869–1943)

We’re a proud couple of nations, down here at the bottom of the world. We’re geographically isolated from the rest of our Commonwealth family. As a result, we’re both pretty independent and don’t like being told what to do. We’re often lumped together, even though in many ways we’re quite different. We’re fiercely competitive, and yet – like siblings – we stand up for each other (just don’t ask us who first created the Pavlova!). We both pride ourselves on our loyalty, humour and ‘mate-ship’. And, we both remember the ANZACs every year on 25 April.

ANZAC Day commemorates the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. (ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.) The Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli, Turkey on 25 April, 1915 and met fierce resistance from the Ottoman defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight long and gruelling months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated, after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. Over 8,000 Australian and almost 3,000 New Zealand soldiers had been killed. News of the landing on Gallipoli made a profound impact on both New Zealanders and Australians at home, and 25 April soon became the day on which we remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in the war.

Although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives, the Australian and New Zealand actions during the campaign left us all a powerful legacy. The creation of what became known as the ‘ANZAC legend’ became an important part of the identity of both nations, shaping the ways they viewed both their past and their future. The pride the original ANZACs took in their name endures to this day.

ANZAC Day now promotes a sense of unity, perhaps more effectively than any other day on the national calendar. People whose beliefs may be widely different share a genuine sorrow at the loss of so many lives in war, and a real respect for those who have endured warfare on behalf of the two countries we live in. Rather than diminishing with time, today the number of Australians and New Zealanders attending ANZAC Day events in New Zealand, Australia and at Gallipoli, is increasing. For most, the day is an occasion on which to formally pay tribute and to remember.

The ANZAC Bridge

ANZAC Bridge

The ANZAC Bridge, a most gorgeous cable stayed bridge, happens to be my favourite bridge in the whole world! I love crossing the bridge, especially on a sunny Sydney day, with the harbour sparkling and views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge to my left as I approach the city…

Spanning Johnstons Bay, the ANZAC Bridge is one of Sydney’s outstanding landmarks. Opened in December 1995, at a cost of $170 million, it provides a key link between Sydney City and the suburbs to the west. Originally known as the Glebe Island Bridge, on the 80th anniversary of Armistice Day, the 11th November 1998, the ANZAC Bridge was renamed as a memorial to members from both sides of the Tasman who formed the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps – the ANZACs.

ANZAC Bridge Digger

A four metre bronze statue of an Australian World War 1 Digger was placed on the north-western end monument on the 25th April 2000. A handful of sand from the Ari Burnu beach at Gallipoli rests under the foot of the digger as a permanent connection with comrades who fell and remain at the Gallipoli battlefield in Turkey.

The New Zealand soldier statue, placed at the south-western approach, was formally unveiled on 27th April 2008.

The ANZAC Biscuit

ANZAC biscuits have always been associated with Australian and New Zealand soldiers in World War I. Legend says that the wives, mothers and girlfriends left at home were concerned that their fighting men were not getting food of any nutritional value, so they cooked up a recipe for treats that they would both enjoy and nutritionally benefit from.

A point of interest is the lack of eggs to bind the ANZAC biscuit mixture together. Because of the war, many of the poultry farmers had joined the services, so eggs were scarce. The binding agent for the biscuits was golden syrup or treacle.

Although particularly popular on ANZAC Day, these biscuits are an easy cookie to whip up at any time of the year.


The good news for Aussie and Kiwi AIPers who have been missing out on ANZAC Biscuits – flour, oats, caster sugar, golden syrup and butter are all out in the elimination phase of the protocol – is that my good mate, Emily from over at SoulFire Wellness has created an AIP compliant version of the traditional ANZAC biscuit. Emily’s version are made with the magic of tigernuts and THEY ARE GOOD!

You don’t have to be an Aussie or a Kiwi to enjoy Emily’s ANZAC Biscuits, either – why not try a batch and see what all the fuss is about? Find the recipe here.

And, if you’ve overindulged in #bloodyfabulous ANZAC biscuits (AIP-friendly or not), why not come and join us on the next AIP Reset which kicks off on the 1st May.Easter Recipe Listicle


Related Posts

Comments (33)

Lest we forget. A fantastic post, thanks TSL. (And that bridge is my absolute favourite too – perfect combo of brilliant engineering and brilliant design.) Hope you enjoy this gloriously sunny Sydney ANZAC Day with your mates and some of those biscuits, as I will be! 🙂

Cheers, Sparks. You too, my blog buddy. 🙂

Yes, Lest we forget… great post TSL. I get to see the bridge from my office everyday… makes me realise what a luck gal I am to be in Sydney and grateful to all those brave people! Thanks for the recipe too…. yum!

That’s not a bad spot to be – looking at the bridge every day. I think that every time I cross the bridge. 🙂

Despite the horrors of battles like Gallipoli, the fighting goes on. So, we will continue to remember.

The Australian-directed Gallipoli was one of the most disturbing films on war I have ever seen. I just checked and it is now 30+ years old. For the younger set reading this, I highly recommend the film. I don’t think it is possible to see the film and look at wars in the same light…

Hi J – it was a disturbing film, you are right. It is unimaginable for me to think what it actually must have been like for the diggers who were there in 1915. The conditions were just so atrocious.

Thanks for this ANZAC post. And Anzac biscuits – I miss them. Maybe Toby’s Estate will have some for sale tomorrow 🙂 I may just have to pop by. PS When i was in Boston, i came across ANZAC Bridge’s Doppleganger.

REALLY? I shall have to check out the ANZAC bridge twin… Cool!

May you have joy in your search for ANZAC bikkies, M

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh! I think I love you!

Thank you, Marina! 🙂

haha! Now you have to go to Boston! I am sure you’ll see some better pics online. I posted on Boston here, but not upclose pics that turned out – only ones from a distance: It’s about 2/3 of the way down the post, from Charlestown at base of Bunker Hill monument

OMG! Love that Lime Green Icicle sculpture by Dave Chihuly. How cool is that?

I, too, saw the movie Gallipoli, and it was heart-wrenching. This post was very interesting to read, as I did not know all of the history behind it. You are right – that bridge is gorgeous!

An educational post from Down Under, WIM2S! 🙂

Another excellent post and I love that you included the recipe for ANZAC biscuits, they are a delicious with a cup of tea although I can never make them like my Nanna used to and hers were my favourite.

…lest we forget.

You’re right, they ARE delish’ with a cup of gumboot tea… I’m feeling a mite peckish!

Love your post on Anzac Day and what it means to Aussies and New Zealanders. A great history lesson.
When I come to Sydney, I hope to get to travel across Anzac Bridge, it’s a very fine bridge.

    Cheers Barb’ (from one poodle lover to another!)

    You can drive, walk (with a pooch) or ride across the ANZAC Bridge and on a sunny day, there is a very good spot to photograph the Harbour Bridge. It really is a wonderful bridge (altho’ I’m no engineering expert!)

Great post J! Great recipe and an even more intriguing and thoughtful history lesson….every countries war memorials are so special and I always enjoy learning about them – we forget how lucky we are and how much we owe those who went before us! And, really, could there be a more gorgeous waterside view?!

Come visit… It’s better in person (although suggest you wait ’til summer!)

Love a good bit of history! Thanks

Always a pleasure to see you pop in, ADFW. Cheers! 🙂

I LOVE ANZAC biscuits. What a great post and thanks for the recipe!

You are welcome! They are a more-ish wee morsel – and, so easy to make. 🙂

Well, I’m glad to have learned a few new things today thanks to you Jo! Thanks for sharing this bit of rich history. And I agree, that bridge is beautiful. Quite the sight up close, I’m sure!

I shall take you to my favorite bridge when you come to visit, lovely Erin ?

Comments are closed.